Developing content for the customer journey Columnist Bobby Lyons explains why SEOs must move away from ‘SEO content’ and start thinking about content that meets users’ needs throughout the buyer journey.
Bobby Lyons on July 21, 2017 at 10:50 amMORETen years ago, referring to content on a page as “SEO content” was often appropriate. Keyword density was still a strong factor for ranking page content, and SEO professionals struggled with achieving SEO objectives while still providing an engaging content experience for the customer.
Today, I still occasionally hear content requested and/or developed by my team referred to as “SEO content.” While it is easy to be offended, the fact is that there was a time in SEO where content quality was not our top priority, so we must own our past. Certainly Google, Bing, and Yahoo share part of the blame, as we were simply playing the hand we were dealt at the time.
Google has since reshuffled the deck, and the hand we are dealt today requires that our content compete at a quality level. Now when I hear someone refer to content as “SEO content,” I take a deep breath, and I begin my education process. The process always begins with acknowledging the past, and then it is followed with a detailed explanation of how search engine optimization has evolved into search experience optimization.
SEO today is about user experienceSearch experience optimization is focused purely on enhancing the customer journey. These days, a search query is often the starting point of that journey. Unfortunately, we rarely know the exact phrase or keyword the customer typed into that search box to start their journey, but we know the page they landed on when they reached our website.
Based on data from Google Search Console, we know what keywords and phrases a page is ranking for, and we can therefore make a fairly educated guess as to what keywords the customer used to arrive on the page. We can then use this data to build an inventory of keywords and phrases, each of which may dictate a completely different user intent.